FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
An Introduction to Your Appointment
CLEAR Center of Health is a state-of-the-art Integrative Medical Center located in beautiful downtown Mill Valley, California. Our unique setting with its skylights, plants and artistic elements has the ambiance of a luxurious retreat rather than a medical clinic and helps shape our healing environment.
If you are interested in establishing care with one of our doctors, please contact our Patient Coordinator at 415-388-5520 Ext. 104.
Our staff is trained to address your questions and concerns and recommend the best practitioner based on your unique health needs and the individual doctor’s specialties and expertise.
What can I expect at my first appointment?
Your first appointment is an in-depth and comprehensive health evaluation, where the doctor will look at your past and current symptoms, diet, lifestyle, and your family medical history. At this visit the provider will create a treatment plan and protocol for you that may include additional testing, customized IV therapies, supplements, diet modifications and/or prescription medications.
To deliver the best care we recommend you bring the following to your first appointment:
- Any medical testing or notes (within the last 3 months).
- Any supplements and medications you’re currently taking.
- A list of symptoms, concerns, and questions you may have for the doctor.
At your follow up visit you can expect to:
- Revisit your symptoms, diet, and lifestyle changes; as well as your supplement and medication list.
- Review results from any medical testing that was done after the initial visit.
- Make any necessary adjustment to your treatment plan based on the above.
At every check-out, our team will:
- Clarify any questions you may have about your treatment plan.
- Gather any supplements that have been prescribed and you wish to purchase at your visit.
- Help coordinate any medical testing that the doctor has requested.
- Provide you with any receipts you may need for your personal record or insurance purposes.
- Assist with any Portal related questions.
- Schedule any follow up appointments.
What is the difference between a Medical Doctor (M.D.) and a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)?
The primary difference lies in the focus of their training and their treatment approaches. Naturopathic doctors are trained to focus on treating and preventing illness by strengthening and stimulating the body’s natural defenses and repair systems. This allows our bodies to do what they can naturally do under the proper conditions–heal itself. Naturopaths draw from a variety of health disciplines when creating personalized treatment plans. Therapies may include diet intervention, nutritional supplementation, plant medicine (herbal and homeopathic), and physical therapy (especially hot/cold therapies). A medical doctor’s training is focused more on treating illness by controlling the disease process with more aggressive pharmaceutical and surgical strategies. These treatments are often necessary and can be lifesaving. But from the Naturopathic perspective, many health conditions can be resolved, and aggressive treatments can be avoided by using more conservative natural therapies. Both are recognized as Primary Care Physicians (PCP). The providers at CLEAR Center of Health focus on an integrative approach to treating the whole person. Although Dr. McDougall and Dr. Geere are both M.D.s, with extensive training in natural medicine.
Why does your clinic recommend I use the Portal?
The Portal makes it easy for patients to request appointments, medications, and supplement refills. Patients can request access to their medical records (as they become available), pay balances and view invoices, and ask their doctor questions in between visits.
Why can’t I see my lab results on the Patient Portal?
All lab results should be reviewed by a doctor before they are shared with a patient. The CLEAR approach to wellness may or may not utilize the reference ranges listed on the lab report. These reports can often be difficult to understand, so it is best to avoid any confusion with the report findings in the absence of a preliminary review from a doctor. There are occasions when a provider will grant access to labs that are a re-run of a value or something that had been discussed earlier.
How long will I need to be treated?
The state of a patient’s current condition, level of toxicity, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances and emotional state are all taken into consideration when creating their treatment plan. Every patient is unique and no treatment at CLEAR is one size fits all.
Why don’t you contract with my insurance company?
There are good reasons why patients seek CLEAR Center of Health for their health management instead of a traditional PPO provider. Contracting with insurance companies is not just about billing and payment. Conventional insurance plans have a “cookbook” for the treatment of all health conditions. When you sign that contract you are agreeing to treat patients according to the treatment protocols that the insurance companies have deemed appropriate. CLEAR may or may not feel that the insurance company guidelines are the best possible option to ensure the highest level of care for the patient; because of this we are unable to sign those contracts.
How much will my insurance cover?
We cannot guarantee that an insurance company will cover any part of a patient’s care. We ask patients to contact their insurance company and ask what they will cover for an “out of network PPO provider”. The code for a New Patient Appointment is 99205 and the Follow-up Appointment code is 99214.
I have questions about a bill I received from the lab.
CLEAR does not process labs or bill for them. The $50 collected at a lab visit is for drawing the specimen only. We send a patient’s paperwork and insurance card (when applicable) with their specimen to the laboratory. If you have any questions you will need to contact the lab directly.
How long does it take for my doctor to submit authorization for my refill request for a medication?
We ask patients to allow for 2 business days for our office to complete their refill request. Please note the office is closed on Fridays, so requests received on this day or at the end of day on Thursday, will get processed on Monday. We ask patients to plan accordingly when traveling or near any holiday breaks, where the office is closed for several days.
I have run out of my supplements and do not see the doctor for another three weeks, should I order more or stop until I come see them again?
We advise patients to continue taking all of their supplements and medications until their follow-up appointment. If a patient has any concerns, then they should message their doctor on the Portal.
I ran out of my supplements and cannot visit your office at this time, what do I do?
We offer shipping on all supplements that do not require refrigeration.
I have a quick question for my doctor, do I need an appointment?
Patients can send questions through the Portal. If a patient’s question requires a visit, then their doctor will suggest they schedule one.
What is your cancellation policy?
We have a 48 business-hour cancellation policy. If less than 48 business-hour notice is given, and we are unable to fill the appointment, a patient is responsible for the cost of the appointment.
“We feel every individual is unique and only if this uniqueness is respected can there be true healing.”